The Meeting Survival Guide: Everything you need (and need to do) before your big 1 o’clock

Another day in the office, another day of meetings. If you’re new to the corporate world and are still adjusting to the demands of meetings, you’re not alone. Roughly 25 million meetings take place in one day in the U.S., according to Fuze. That’s a whole lot of meeting time (and likely a whole lot of wasted time).

Time waster or not, looks like meetings are here to stay. How can you be prepared for your next big meeting? Keep reading to find out!

The Must Have’s


If your company runs on all things digital, it’s key to bring your laptop with you, especially in meetings with senior leaders. In the event that a leader asks for a certain file or an update that you need to pull from your email – it’s best to have your laptop on hand. No need to panic when you get called out in front of the board room. Just pull up the file, send it out, and boom.


What’s a laptop with a dead battery? Useless.

If your laptop is running on low power and you’ve got a long meeting ahead, your best bet is to grab your charger. The last thing you want to do is have a dead laptop without a power cord when your VP is relying on you to pull up documentation during the meeting. Use it or don’t, but at least you’ve got it there as a back up jussst in case. Plus, if someone else’s laptop dies and you’re there to save the day with your charger, you’ll be the #officehero.

Notebook & Pen

If your paranoia is at an all-time high, don’t forget your notebook and pen. If your role in the meeting is to take minutes, or capture any important discussion items, your notebook will be your saviour. How so, you ask? You may type up all your notes on the spot, directly on your laptop – but sometimes your laptop freezes abruptly. If the meeting is moving quickly and there’s no time to stop the discussion. Bring your notebook with you so you can capture anything you would’ve missed if you waited for your horrible PC to reboot.


Passing out in a meeting, or having a cough attack while your SVP is presenting – is just not cute. Keep water handy and always by your side, for cases like when you get thirsty, feel a cough coming through, or you just need something to sip on. Especially when you’re in a meeting longer than an hour – avoid being parched and stay hydrated. And of course, when things get tense and the meeting suddenly takes a turn for the worst – keep calm and drink water.

The Must Do’s 

Prep beforehand

There’s nothing that looks worse than being the most junior person on the team, and coming totally unprepared to your meetings. Before going into any meeting, be sure to prepare ahead of time. That means, understand what the purpose of the meeting is, what your role is, and what the expected outcome should be. If there are pre-reads supplied, read them ahead of time. Nerd it out and be a total keener front row and centre for your meeting. You’re good at that.

Be aware of time

Check your schedule and know what you’ve got in your calendar for the day. If you have back-to-back meetings, ensure that you’re leaving your meetings at the right time to make it for your next one. It’s important to be mindful of time and keep yourself on track, even if your current meeting runs over time. Excuse yourself and mention you’ve got another meeting right after that you’ve got to attend to. You’re a big deal, they’ll get it.

Use the bathroom

*Flashback to what your parents used to tell you before a long car ride* Make sure you use the bathroom before we leave.

Wise words to carry on with you for LIFE. Use the bathroom before going into a long meeting. You’re human, it’s natural. Don’t try to hold it. Even if that means you’re going to be a couple minutes late to your meeting – don’t worry, they’ll survive. Health comes first and holding in your pee is not fun nor cool! You do you, girl.

Eat beforehand

There’s nothing quite like the sound of a grumbling tummy, echoing within the upright, white walls of the meeting room.

You’re hungry, and everyone knows it.

Going into a long meeting when you’re starving is the absolute worst! You’re hungry. Your stomach starts screaming in pain; begging to be fed. You can’t concentrate. All you can think about is food. You really want to tell Tim to STFU about the Q4 results because all you want is a freakin’ piece of pizza.

Been there, done that, seen it, heard it. Do everyone a favour and fill your tummy before coming to the meeting. ‘Cause hey, along with your weird grumbling noises taking over the background noise of the meeting, no one wants Hangry Hannah piping up at their findings. #foodislyfe


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